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Low-dose bupivacaine spinal anaesthesia for percutaneous nephrolithotomy: the suitability and impact of adding intrathecal fentanyl
Unilateral spinal anaesthesia has been used for lower limb surgery with a stable cardiovascular state and a short recovery unit stay. We sought to test the suitability of low-dose bupivacaine spinal anaesthesia for percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a procedure hitherto performed under general anaesthesia. Furthermore, we hypothesized that adding intrathecal fentanyl to bupivacaine may improve the quality of anaesthesia. Methods:
We randomly allocated, through computer-generated randomization, 108 patients subjected to percutaneous nephrolithotomy to receive either 7.5 mg of hyperbaric bupivacaine 5 mg/ml alone or with the addition of 10 g of fentanyl. Drugs were given at the L2–L3 interspace with the patient in the lateral decubitus position. The patients remained in this position for 10 min, after which the sensory and motor blocks were assessed. Intra-operative analgesic supplementation, when deemed necessary, was achieved with intravenous fentanyl boluses (25 g). Results:
The sensory and motor blocks after intrathecal bupivacaine and bupivacaine–fentanyl were similar. Sensory block, in both groups, reached the fifth and eighth thoracic dermatomes on the operative and non-operative sides, respectively. Deep motor block occurred on the operative side in all patients and in nearly 50% of patients on the non-operative side. The patients in the bupivacaine–fentanyl group required less intra-operative and post-operative analgesics, and both patients and endoscopists were better satisfied. Conclusion:
This study demonstrated, for the first time, that intrathecal low-dose bupivacaine and fentanyl offers a reliable neuraxial block for patients subjected to percutaneous nephrolithotomy, with stable haemodynamics, good post-operative analgesia and acceptable patient and endoscopist satisfaction.
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